Anheuser-Busch CEO Brendan Whitworth has issued a statement about the controversy surrounding Bud Light’s partnership with transgender activist and influencer Dylan Mulvaney.
The partnership sparked a massive boycott effort from conservatives and the company has lost more than $6 billion in market capitalization.
On Friday, the company broke its silence with a statement from Whitworth pointing to the beer giant’s support for the military and first responders.
“As the CEO of a company founded in America’s heartland more than 165 years ago, I am responsible for ensuring every consumer feels proud of the beer we brew,” Whitworth said. “We’re honored to be part of the fabric of this country. Anheuser-Busch employs more than 18,000 people and our independent distributors employ an additional 47,000 valued colleagues. We have thousands of partners, millions of fans and a proud history supporting our communities, military, first responders, sports fans and hard-working Americans everywhere.”
“We never intended to be part of a discussion that divides people,” Whitworth continued. “We are in the business of bringing people together over a beer.”
Mulvaney, a biological adult male that has been living as a “girl” for just over a year. He has become a controversial figure over his “Days of Girlhood” series on TikTok — and meeting with President Joe Biden on “Day 222 of being a girl” to advocate for allowing minors to transition.
“I’m ready to step up and show that trans people are not going anywhere and that trans kids deserve a fighting chance to be their true selves.” Mulvaney said at the time.
Right-wing celebrities were very outspoken about how they would no longer support the brand.
Travis Tritt announced that all Anheuser-Busch products will be removed from his tour rider over the partnership. John Rich told Tucker Carlson that he would stop serving their brews at his wildly popular Redneck Riviera bars. Kid Rock shot at cases of Bud Light while declaring “F— Bud Light and f— Anheuser-Busch.”
The beer company previously defended the partnership, saying they use many influencers to “connect with audiences across various demographics.”
“Anheuser-Busch works with hundreds of influencers across our brands as one of many ways to authentically connect with audiences across various demographics.”
The transgender activist and influencer has over 10 million followers on TikTok and 1.7 million on Instagram.